Software

Employees switch apps more than 1,100 times a day, decreasing productivity

Workers check their emails once every six minutes throughout the day, according to a Pega report.

Ineffective software and inefficient processes are impacting the productivity of many employees, according to a Tuesday report from Pegasystems Inc. After studying nearly 5 million hours of live desktop activity of operational support employees, the report found that the average employee switches between 35 job-critical applications more than 1,100 times every day.

The operational support workers analyzed in the report work with structured applications designed to expedite core tasks, eliminating unnecessary typing and scrolling, according to a press release. However, employees were overwhelmed with too many of these disconnected apps, resulting in increased errors, poor processes, and unnecessary actions that could all be automated, the release added.

SEE: Digital transformation in 2019: A business leader's guide to future challenges and opportunities (Tech Pro Research)

Workers complete an average of 134 copy-and-paste actions each day, according to the report, which demonstrates how often employees are forced to switch between applications that use the same data to complete a task. The report also found employees commit an average of 845 keyboard errors a day, providing another example of where automation could potentially improve workflow to reduce manual mistakes.

Some 28% of active work time is spent on structured applications instead of free-form software like word processing apps or spreadsheets, the report found, which indicates structured applications may not be effective enough on their own.

These inefficiencies end up affecting worker productivity, according to the report. Employees check their email once every six minutes throughout the day. Additionally, employees spend 13% of their time checking email, of which only 23% is spent completing value-generating work.

"Many organizations instinctively try to solve process issues and improve employee productivity by throwing more software at the problem without truly understanding the root cause of their inefficiencies," said Don Schuerman, CTO of Pegasystems, in the release. "Business leaders must step back and analyze their business processes to ensure they enable employees to do their best work while providing customers with the best possible experience. By streamlining these processes and eliminating repetitive tasks, companies can give employees the right tools they need to succeed and be happier in their jobs."

Check out this TechRepublic article to learn how artificial intelligence (AI) could boost software efficiency and worker productivity.

The big takeaways for tech leaders:

  • Employees are using too much inefficient software, impacting their productivity and ability to quickly complete easy tasks. — Pega, 2018
  • Employees are using an average of 35 job-necessary applications more than 1,100 times a day. — Pega, 2018

Also see

Cognitive overload: 15 ways to reduce it (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

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Image: iStockphoto/GaudiLab

About Macy Bayern

Macy Bayern is an Associate Staff Writer for TechRepublic. A recent graduate from the University of Texas at Austin's Liberal Arts Honors Program, Macy covers tech news and trends.

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